The boards of the American Group Practice Association and the Unified Medical Group Management Association have voted to put a merger of their organizations up for a vote by their members. The associations plan to send voting materials to members in early May. Members will have 30 days to return their ballots. The UMGMA, based in Seal Beach, Calif., represents about 90 groups that have a significant amount of capitated contracts. The AGPA, based in Alexandria, Va., represents about 250 large, multispecialty medical groups.
New York City labor unions, joined by political, religious and community leaders, filed a $791 million suit against Mayor Rudolph Giuliani last week, charging the city with shortchanging the public healthcare system. The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in New York, asks the court to require the city to fund the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. at "the minimum level mandated" under HHC's corporate charter. The $791 million represents funding shortfalls for fiscal 1994 and 1995 and minimum funding for 1996 and 1997, the plaintiffs said
â¬Mercy Health Corp., Bala Cynwyd, Pa., and Philadelphia's Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans have merged their Medicaid managed-care operations, creating Pennsylvania's largest Medicaid HMO. The newly formed Keystone Mercy Health Plan consolidates Mercy Health Plan, which is a subsidiary of Mercy Health Corp., and Keystone First, the Medicaid arm of Keystone Health Plan East. Keystone is jointly owned by Independence Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield. The 160,000-enrollee Keystone Mercy will operate as a 50-50 partnership between Mercy and Keystone. The plan's provider network includes more than 1,500 primary-care providers, 5,500 specialists and 72 hospitals. G. Fred DiBona Jr., president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross, is chairman of the new not-for-profit plan. Daniel J. Hilferty, Mercy Health Plan's acting president, will serve as interim CEO until a search for a permanent CEO is completed.
Beverly Enterprises marginally exceeded industry expectations when it announced its first-quarter earnings last week. For the three months ended March 31, the company reported a 17% decrease in net income to $13.7 million, or 14 cents per share, from $16.5 million, or 17 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues increased 2% to $814.5 million. Beverly's first-quarter net income exceeded analysts' average forecast by $1 million, or 8%. The results represent an improvement from the previous quarter ended Dec. 31, 1995, when the company reported a net loss of $63.8 million, or 65 cents per share. The company said all its principal business units met or exceeded profit expectations, including its Pharmacy Corporation of America division, which experienced difficulties last year. Robert Woltil resigned as head of PCA in January. The company didn't disclose specific results from each division. Fort Smith, Ark.-based Beverly, with 670 skilled-nursing and rehabilitation facilities, is the nation's largest provider of long-term care.